Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's Blog: 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Cat Facts

If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population control using spaying and neutering is so important.

If your cat is in the habit of rolling over and exposing his stomach, you can be sure he feels perfectly safe with you. It's also a way of demonstrating his pleasure in your company.

If your cat snores, or rolls over on his back to expose his belly, it means he trusts you.

In 1888, an estimated 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan, Egypt. They were sold at $18.43 per ton, and shipped to England to be ground up and used for fertilizer.

In addition to using their noses, cats can smell with the Jacobson's organ which is located in the upper surface of the mouth.

In ancient Egypt, the entire family would shave their eyebrows off as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.

In cats, the calico and tortoiseshell coats are sex-linked traits. All cats displaying these coats are female... or occasionally sterile males.

In general, cats live longer than most dogs. An average life span might be 12 to 14 years. Some cats are reaching 20 or more. A cat's longevity depends on feeding, genetics, environment, veterinary care and some other factors. It is also important whether or not the cat lives indoors or is allowed outdoors (outdoor cats live an average of eight years). The general consensus is that at about age seven the cat can be considered as "middle-aged", and at age 10 and beyond - old.

In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

In the 9th century, King Henry I of Saxony decreed that the fine for killing a cat should be sixty bushels of corn.

In the Middle Ages, during the Festival of Saint John, cats were burned alive in town squares.

In the midst of building the Grand Coulee Dam in the state of Washington, engineers were stymied by the problem of threading a cable through a pipeline until an anonymous cat saved the day. Harnessed to the cable, this unknown hero crawled through the pipeline maze to successfully finish the job.

It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one's blood pressure.

It is a common belief that cats are color blind; but recent studies have shown that cats can see blue, green, and red.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK!

Dog trainer and behavioral consultant Chris Shaughness has announced the release of "Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK!" a book that reveals the inspirational stories of people who adopted dogs used as breeders in puppy mills, the adult male and female dogs kept captive their entire life to produce puppies for pet stores.

"Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK!" details the behaviorial and health issues presented by rescue dogs and the puppies they produce, and also provides both practical advice for overcoming these problems and and other training challenges common to all dog owners.

This book can be purchased online at or

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Pet Poisoning Myths Debunked!

Veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline Clear the Confusion
Holiday festivities, decorations and rich foods can wreak havoc on undiscerning pets who love to taste test everything that appears new and interesting. While pet owners need to be made aware of the very real and dangerous threats to pets this time of year, the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline would also like to debunk several common myths that cause unnecessary stress each holiday season.

Holiday Myths Debunked!

According to the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline, these are the most common myths concerning pet safety during the holiday season.

Myth #1 - Poinsettias are highly toxic. Although they have a bad rap, poinsettia plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are only mildly dangerous to dogs and cats and their relative toxicity has been quite exaggerated. The most problematic component of the plant is its sticky white sap that may cause mild mouth or stomach irritation if ingested. Contact with the skin may also result in mild irritation. However, serious poisoning is not expected from ingestion.

Myth #2 - Mistletoe is toxic. Like poinsettias, American mistletoe, which is a popular plant used as holiday décor, also gets a bad rap. Rumors of its toxic nature are largely attributed to its cousin, European mistletoe. Though ingestion of American mistletoe leaves or berries may cause mild stomach upset, serious or life-threatening poisoning is not likely.

Myth #3 - Fruitcake is a healthy holiday treat. While fruitcake may be a fine food for people, it can actually be deadly to pets. Grapes, raisins and currants are common ingredients in fruitcakes and can result in kidney failure in dogs if ingested. Additionally, fruitcake that has been soaked in rum or other alcohol may also prove poisonous to your pet if ingested. Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and can affect pets quickly, causing a dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure.

Myth #4 - Tinsel is a pet-friendly decoration. An ornament that pet owners should avoid is tinsel for decorating trees. If you own a cat, toss the tinsel! What looks like a shiny toy can prove deadly if ingested. While tinsel itself is not poisonous, it can result in a severe linear foreign body, which occurs when something “stringy” wraps around the base of the tongue or anchors itself in the stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. As the intestines contract and move, the string can slowly saw through the tissue, resulting in severe damage to your pet’s intestinal tract. Treatment involves expensive abdominal surgery. It’s best to keep tinsel, as well as ribbon, yarn and thread out of your pet’s reach.

“Dogs, cats, birds and other pets often use their mouths to investigate new things,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “Much like small children, they simply cannot resist the temptation to chew on potentially harmful plants, foods and other ‘goodies.’ Thankfully, it’s easy for pet owners to educate themselves about common pet poisons. At you can view and print our list of toxic foods and post it on your refrigerator as a reminder. This is also a way to discourage your holiday guests from feeding Fido poisonous people food!”

Real Holiday Dangers

Lilies, including tiger, Asiatic, stargazer, day and Easter, make lovely centerpieces but are also extremely toxic to cats. These beauties fall into the category of real and acute danger. As little as one or two petals or leaves, and even the pollen, can cause sudden kidney failure. They should be kept well out of kitty’s reach. Thankfully, dogs are not as severely affected by lilies with only mild stomach upset expected.

While not as toxic as lilies, ingestion of Christmas cactus by dogs and cats can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Likewise, the spiny and leathery leaves of the Christmas or English holly can result in significant damage to the stomach and intestines of dogs and cats. The holly’s berries have mildly toxic properties, but are fairly tolerable in most pets. While death is not likely, it’s best to keep your pets away from these holiday plants.

Filling your house with the smell of nutmeg or pine is inviting, but if you heat scented oils in a simmer pot, be aware that it can cause serious harm to your cat. Some liquid potpourris contain chemicals called cationic detergents, which can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing and tremors. Dogs are not as sensitive to the chemicals but may still suffer burns so it’s still better to be safe than sorry. Scent your home with a non-toxic candle in a safe no-pet zone.

With the holiday season comes delightful baked goods, confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it is not wise, and sometimes quite dangerous, to share these foods with your pets. Keep them on their regular diets over the holidays and do not let family and friends sneak them these kinds of treats. Some of the most dangerous foods are chocolate and cocoa, sugarless gum and candy containing xylitol, leftover fatty meat scraps, and unbaked bread dough containing yeast.

Make this holiday season merrier for you and your pets by keeping dangerous items safely out of their reach. If, however, you think your pet may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

About Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline is a service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff can provide treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $35 per incident includes unlimited follow-up consultations. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 1-800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kroger Recalls Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk

CINCINNATI, Ohio–The Kroger Co. said today it is recalling select packages of pet food sold in some of its retail stores because the products may contain aflatoxin, which poses a health risk to pets. Kroger stores in the following states are included in this recall: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The recall also includes Dillons and Gerbes stores in Kansas and Missouri; Baker’s stores in Nebraska; Food 4 Less stores in Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana (Chicago area); and Jay C, Hilander, Owen’s, Pay Less and Scott’s stores in Illinois and Indiana. Stores the company operates under the following names are not included in this recall: Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, Smith’s, QFC, City Market, Foods Co., and Food 4 Less stores in California and Nevada.

Kroger is recalling the following items:
• Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088128
• Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071357
• Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088152
• Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074580
• Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071903
• Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 22 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074566
• Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074563
• Kroger Value Cat Food sold in 3 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111000018
• Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 15 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071559
• Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code:1111000108

Aflatoxin is a naturally-occurring toxic chemical by-product from the growth of the fungus Aspergillus flavus on corn and other crops. If your pet shows any symptoms of illness, including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, yellowish tint to the eyes and/or gums, and severe or bloody diarrhea, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

The safety of our customers and their pets is important to Kroger. The company is using its Customer Recall Notification system to alert customers who may have purchased these recalled products through register receipt tape messages and automated phone calls. Customers who have purchased a recalled item should not use it and should return it to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900. For more information, please visit

Source: The Kroger Co.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sniffing Out Cancer

Dogs as Cancer Detectors
By Maggie Koerth for MSN Health & Fitness

Man's real best friend may be his best friend's nose. Dogs' sense of smell is incredibly powerful, but it wasn't until recently that scientists began siccing that sense on cancerous tumors. Researchers wondered if canines could be trained to smell the chemical difference between patients with cancer and those without. So far, the results have been promising. Studies show test dogs can accurately pick out patients with lung, breast, ovarian and bladder cancers. In some cases, the pups have hit accuracy rates as high as 97 percent.

But don't book an appointment with Dr. Beagle just yet. The detection method is still in its early stages of research. To really prove that dog detection can work, researchers will need to show that dogs can identify afflicted patients who haven't yet been diagnosed by traditional means, as opposed to using previously diagnosed cancer patients and healthy controls. Critics argue the dogs might not be smelling cancer, but instead some olfactory evidence of lifestyle differences between healthy people, and those who are already addressing (and worrying about) an illness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Low Shedding Small Breed Dogs

Here is a list of small dogs that don't shed, or shed very little.

Chinese Crested (
Silky Terrier (
Shih Tzu (
Border Terrier (
Boston Terrier (
Miniature Schnauzer (
Miniature Poodle (
Maltese (
Australian Terrier (
Scottish Terrier(Scottie) (
Welsh Terrier (
Norfolk Terrier (
Havanese (
West Highland Terrier(Westie) (
Yorkshire Terrier(Yorkie) (
Cairn Terrier (
Bichon Frise (
Italian Greyhound (

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Dalmatian's History in Fire Service

“The Dalmatian is a very physical breed, with a strong, muscular body, and able to run great distances without tiring. The Dalmatian also has what seems to be a natural calming effect on horses. This trait about the breed was seen very early on, and soon the Dalmatian was identified with horses. Possibly horse mounted warriors or hunters first used the breed in their activities. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries when the mode of travel was by horse or by carriage, the Dalmatians became a society dog, and trained to run along side women's carriages. They became known as Coach dogs or Ladies dogsbecause of this. In fact, the term coaching is referring to how the Dalmatian will take up position justoff the side and towards the rear of a horse and run with them.

In the 1700's, dalmatians were used to protect horses that pulled English stagecoaches. Typically two dalmatians would run next to the horses as they pulled the coach. When other dogs tried to run out and scare the horses, the dalmatian team would chase them away. Over the years, dalmatians formed a close bond with horses.

During this time, horse theft was very common. Because of the potential for theft, stagecoach drivers would typically sleep in a hammock strung between two stalls where they would watch for thieves. However, because of the bond between the dalmatians and the horses, the driver could sleep in a hotel or house if he owned a dalmatian. Why? Because the dalmatians would sleep with the horses and guard against horse theft.

It is during the era of horse drawn fire apparatus that the Dalmatian becomes forever tied to the Fire Service. These fire house horses were required to spend hours at a time at a fire scene, or hours inside the fire house waiting for a call, and despite many misbeliefs, these fire house horses were not broken down old hags, but fine spirited horses. The Dalmatian became the horses pet as it were, to help keep them calm. There are many reports and stories of seeing a fire team rushing to the scene of a call, with a Dalmatian or two running between the horse teams. Once on the scene of the call, the Dalmatian took over as guard dog, insuring that nothing was stolen from the apparatus. The Dalmatian is a very loyal breed to its owners, and an admirable foe when challenged.

Because of the dog/horse bond, the dalmatian easily adapted to the firehouse in the days of horse-drawn fire wagons. Since every firehouse had a set of fast horses to pull the pumper, it became common for each group of firefighters to keep a dalmatian in the firehouse to guard the firehouse and horses. When the alarm came in, the dalmatian led the way for the horse-drawn pumper. In this way, the dalmatian became the firefighters' companion and a symbol of the fire service. Today, dalmatians are still found in many firehouses in England, Canada, and the United States.

Because of this loyalty, the Dalmatian continued in the Fire Service once the horses were replaced with mechanical apparatus. Today, in many large cities, the Dalmatian is the guard dog of the fire truck while at the scene of fires and rescues. In its long history in the Fire Service, there are also reports of how the Dalmatian has rescued trapped firefighters or victims. Overall, the Dalmatian is a brave and valiant dog.”


Friday, December 10, 2010

Soothing the Depressesd

Calming the Anxious and Soothing the Depressed
Everybody runs into negative feelings at times, including fear, stress, and anxiety, but some people are hit harder than others, and studies show that animals may be able to help. Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to have at least a moderate effect on improving the emotional well-being of humans.

According to a large 2007 study in the journal Anthrozoös, researchers have successfully used animals to calm patients prior to a potentially frightening medical procedure; help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder conquer their fears; and decrease symptoms in people suffering from depression. How does it work? A 2000 study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that positive interaction with dogs can give a boost to the brain chemicals that lower blood pressure, which could be the biological basis behind these animal-assisted therapies.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cat Age Equivalency

Kitten birth to 6 months
A kitten that is 0-1 month old is equivalent to a human that is 0-1 year of age
A kitten that is 2-3 months old is equivalent to a human that is 2-4 years old
A kitten that is 4 months old is equivalent to a human that is 6-8 years old
A kitten that is 6 months old is equivalent to a human that is 10 years old

Junior 7 months to 2 years
A cat that is 7 months old is equivalent to a human that is 12 years old
A cat that is 12 months old is equivalent to a human that is 15 years old
A cat that is 18 months old is equivalent to a human that is 21 years old
A cat that is 2 years old is equilavent to a human that is 24 years old

Prime 3-6 years
A cat that is 3 years old is equivalent to a human that is 28 years old
A cat that is 4 years old is equivalent to a human that is 32 years old
A cat that is 5 years old is equivalent to a human that is 36 years old
A cat that is 6 years old is equivalent to a human that is 40 years old

Mature 7-10 years
A cat that is 7 years old is equivalent to a human that is 44 years old
A cat that is 8 years old is equivalent to a human that is 48 years old
A cat that is 9 years old is equivalent to a human that is 52 years old
A cat that is 10 years old is equivalent to a human that is 56 years old

Senior 11-14 years
A cat that is 11 years old is equivalent to a human that is 60 years old
A cat that is 12 years old is equivalent to a human that is 64 years old
A cat that is 13 years old is equivalent to a human that is 68 years old
A cat that is 14 years old is equivalent to a human that is 72 years old

Geriatric over 15 years
A cat that is 15 years old is equivalent to a human that is 76 years old
A cat that is 16 years old is equivalent to a human that is 80 years old
A cat that is 17 years old is equivalent to a human that is 84 years old
A cat that is 18 years old is equivalent to a human that is 88 years old
A cat that is 19 years old is equivalent to a human that is 92 years old
A cat that is 20 years old is equivalent to a human that is 96 years old
A cat that is 21 years old is equivalent to a human that is 100 years old

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Hazards

Holiday season plants to avoid:

Lilies found in holiday flower arrangements can be deadly to your cat. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, cause acute kidney failure in cats.

Poinsettias generally have low toxicity. If ingested, poinsettias irritate the mouth and stomach, causing mild vomiting or nausea.

Mistletoe can have a cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) toxic effect. More commonly, however, mistletoe ingestion usually causes gastrointestinal upset.

Holly ingestion can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Please call your veterinarian for advice in all cases to ensure that your pet doesn't need emergency veterinary care.

Hazards around the christmas tree:

Christmas tree water often contains fertilizers, that, if ingested, cause stomach upsets. Stagnant tree water can have extremely high bacterial content, which can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, if ingested.

Electric cords should be hidden or covered safely. If they were chewed, they could electrocute your pet.

Ribbons or tinsel can get stuck in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction if ingested.

Batteries contain corrosives. If ingested they can cause serious ulceration to the mouth, tongue and intestines.

Glass ornaments can cut the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract if ingested.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Pet Pics with Santa

Photographic portraits of pets with Santa will be offered Sunday, December 5 from 2:00-5:00pm at the Frederick County Humane Society, 217 West Patrick Street in downtown Frederick. Portraits will be provided in electronic format for a cost of $10. Proceeds from the project will benefit programs of the Humane Society.

Pet Pix will take place during the Santa Paws Bazaar, in which local vendors of specialty merchandise will display their wares at the Santa Paws Baazar. Participants include Tomboy Tools, Scentsy, Bling Bags and the Frederick County Humane Society's Crafters Guild. Vendors will cpontribute a portion of sales to FCHS.

No advance registration is rquired. Plentiful street parking is available. Pet owners are asked to have their pets in a secure carrier or on a non-retracting leash.

For more information, please call 301-694-8300 ext. 203.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Imitation is Flattery

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, dogs often shower us with praise. New research has just determined dogs automatically imitate us, even when it is not in their best interest to do so.

The study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provides the first evidence that dogs copy at least some of our body movements and behaviors in ways that are spontaneous and voluntary.

In other words, they can't really help themselves when it comes to copying people.

"This suggests that, like humans, dogs are subject to 'automatic imitation'; they cannot inhibit online, the tendency to imitate head use and/or paw use," lead author Friederike Range and her colleagues conclude.

It's long been known that humans do this, even when the tendency to copy interferes with efficiency.

"For example," according to the researchers, "if people are instructed to open their mouths as soon as they see the letters 'OM' appear on a screen, responses are slower when the letters are accompanied by an image of an opening hand than when they are accompanied by an image of an opening mouth."

In a scientific first, Range — a University of Vienna researcher in the Department of Cognitive Biology — and her team tested this phenomenon on dogs. Ten adult dogs of various breeds and their owners, from Austria, participated in the experiments.

All of the dogs received preliminary training to open a sliding door using their head or a paw. The dogs then watched their owners open the door by hand or by head. For the latter, the owner would get down on the floor and use his or her head to push up or down on the sliding door.

The dogs were next divided into two groups. Dogs in the first group received a food reward whenever they copied what the owner did. Dogs in the second group received a food reward when they did the opposite.

All of the dogs were inclined to copy what the owner did, even if it meant receiving no food reward.

"This finding suggests that the dogs brought with them to the experiment a tendency automatically to imitate hand use and/or paw use by their owner; to imitate these actions even when it was costly to do so," the authors report.

The scientists suggest owners would do well to match their own body movements, whenever possible, to tasks at hand during training sessions.

For example, if an owner is trying to teach a dog to shake "hands," the person might have more success if he stretched out his own hand to demonstrate. The observing dog would then be inclined to stretch out a paw, mirroring what the human did. At that point, a food reward could be offered to the dog, reinforcing the behavior.

The owner is reinforcing bonding and cooperation with the dog, too.

"Researchers have known that human beings prefer the behavior of other people who subtly imitate their gestures and other affects," said Duane Alexander, M.D., director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Development.

Alexander worked on another study showing that non-human primates automatically imitate each other. Certain birds do this, too, but it may be very rare in the animal kingdom for one species to almost subconsciously imitate the behavior of a completely different species.

The dog-human bond may therefore have few, if any, parallels.

"Dogs are special animals, both in terms of their evolutionary history of domestication and the range and intensity of their developmental training by humans," Range and her team explain.

"Both of these factors may enhance the extent to which dogs attend to human activity," they added, "but the results of the present experiment suggest it is the latter — training in the course of development — which plays the more powerful and specific role in shaping their imitative behavior."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Call for Blood Donors

Due to the current economy, EVBB is in dire need of donations to stay open. EVBB is not a non-profit organization, so donations are not tax-deductible. However, we hope that you believe that our mission is important and that you will help us try to Save EVBB.*Please help us eliminate the need for caged blood donors, promote all-volunteer blood banks, and save dogs' lives. For more information please go to

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Low Shedding Medium/Large Breeds

Here is a list of medium and large sized dogs that don't shed or minimally shed

Kerry Blue Terrier (
Bedlington Terrier (
Wire Fox Terrier (
Airedale Terrier (
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier(
Basenji (
Irish Water Spaniel (
Greyhound (
Standard Poodle (
Standard Schnauzer (

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Way to go Watson!

Eileen and her dog Watson have completed the requirements to be a wags for hope team. They will visit nursing homes and assisted living homes. Eileen is very excited about being able to share her sweet dog with other people in need of some canine affection!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Annual Intestinal Parasite Checks

Ever wonder why your veterinarian recommends that you check a fecal sample on your strictly indoor cat? While it is safe to say that your indoor cat is much less likely to be effected by intestinal parasites than a cat or dog that spends time outdoors, your indoor cat is still susceptible to intestinal parasites that can be detrimental to their health. Parasitologists recommend that routine annual fecal checks are a part of every indoor cats yearly check up. Cats are natural hunters and without available prey indoors they sometimes turn to bugs for entertainment and will even ingest them. The picture shows a household cricket that after being immersed in water had several roundworms expel from its abdomen. If ingested by a cat or dog these parasites could ultimately have an adverse effect on that pet.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Unusual Fur

Kitten with the word "cat" spelled out in its fur.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dr. Meyer's Top 10 Ten Secrets For Well Behaved Dogs & Happy Owners

Your Dog's Friend, a nonprofit group that strives to keep dogs out of shelters by educating and supporting dog owners, will host the following event at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac. Participants should not bring their dog. For details call 301-983-5913 or visit

"Dr. Meyer's Top 10 Ten Secrets For Well Behaved Dogs & Happy Owners" will feature veterinarian Kathy Meyer of the Veterinary Behavior Clinic. She will talk about how wrong information, bad advice or lack of attention can lead dog owners down the path to long-lasting behavior issues that can be challenging to correct. 2pm November 20th.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What will your pet eat??

Top 10 items ingested by pets reported by VPI Pet Insurance

1. Socks
2. Underwear
3. Pantyhose
4. Rocks
5. Balls
6. Chew Toys
7. Corn Cobs
8. Bones
9. Hair Ties/Ribbons
10. Sticks

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Candle Scents

The NEW holiday fragrances for the Pet Odor Exterminator Candle are IN!! They include candy cane, sugared cranberry, and evergreen and berries!! We also still have a few of the older fragrances if you've had a favorite from the past!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Things to Watch For on Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for kids and many adults, but can be a frightening and stressful time for your pets. As a pet owner, you know your pet best, but here are some points to consider for your pet's safety.

•Continual doorbell ringing and people at the door (in costume, no less!) can be stressful for a pet. Some pets may experience stress-related diarrhea or potentially injure themselves if crated or otherwise contained. Keep your pet in a quiet and safe place on Halloween.

•Strangers in costume - some animals may become unexpectedly aggressive or fearful, even normally friendly pets.

•Candles and Jack-O'-Lanterns within a pet's range are a fire hazard. Wagging tails and frightened cats zooming through the house can easily tip over a candle or carved pumpkin, causing burns or a fire.

•Keep your pets indoors on Halloween night, especially black cats. Animals are at risk for cruel treatment by some Halloween pranksters. Many adoption agencies and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween for this reason.

•Candy - For many people, Halloween = candy. Many pets have a sweet tooth. Please warn children not to share their goodies with the family pet.

Candy Concerns
Candies, gums, mints, baked goods and chocolate containing the "sugar free" sweetener xylitol are especially poisonous, causing rapid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs and possibly other species (ferrets).

Chocolate is toxic to pets. Granted, a 50 pound dog would have to eat about 50 ounces of milk chocolate (but only 5 ounces of baking chocolate) for a toxic dose, but much smaller amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and death. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian.

Other candies, such as lollipops and those with plastic components, pose a danger if ingested. Lollipop sticks and plastic parts can cause intestinal obstruction and potentially rupture the intestines, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Look at the variety of pet costumes! How can I resist?
Halloween costumes for pets have been around for many years. This year, however, I am finding them everywhere; even in the grocery store! While the costumes can be entertaining for the human counterparts, caution is advised before dressing your pet up.

•While viewed as fun and adorable for some pet owners, caution is advised when putting a costume on a pet. A pet in costume should NEVER be left alone and unsupervised.

•Tight elastics on the costumes can get lost in the pet's hair, potentially causing owners to overlook them, leading to swelling and pain in the area of the elastic.

•Some pets, if left alone in costume, may chew it up and ingest it. This could cause intestinal obstruction if more than small shreds of material are consumed.

•If the costumed pet escapes or is frightened away, the costume could entangle the pet on trees, fences, etc.

Pet clothing for safety and fun

Consider reflective collars and gear for pets (and people) - a great safety item for Halloween and all year-round. For more information on pet clothing, please see the related article: Should your pet wear clothes? Does your pet wear clothes on Halloween or any other time? You are invited to vote in the poll and see how your pet's wardrobe compares with other viewer's pets.

Play it safe and enjoy Halloween

With a little caution and some common sense, Halloween can be a fun time for kids and pets alike. If any acts of animal cruelty are seen or suspected, please call your local shelter or animal authorities. Happy and safe Halloween to everyone

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin carving

Happy Howloween! Carve this year's pumpkin with your favorite dog breed!!!! Click on the link below to download your free dog breed stencils.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hocus Pocus- Why are black cats a symbol of Halloween?

Black cats, pumpkins, ghosts, goblins, and scare crows are things we think of when we hear "Halloween".

But why black cats?

Folklore tells stories of black cats being bad luck and being associated with witchcraft and pagan religions.

During the Salem Witch Trials, black cats were thought to be a form a witch could change into and were persecuted.

In Pagan religions, natural life is worshiped, including animals like cats. In early Christianity, Pagans and their cats were considered evil.

Despite all that hocus pocus, we know that black cats are no different than any other cat and bring love and companionship to their owners.

Bert and Ernie pictured above are such feline friends. They are 1.5 year old brothers and are very friendly and were wonderful patients today!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Allergies Related to Coat Color?

Are dark colored cats more likely to cause allergies in their owners than light colored cats? Studies have shown conflicting data. For more information, go to

No matter the color of your pet, if you have allergies, we recommend HEPA air filters, keeping the pet out of the bedroom and bathing it often.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Garden Enemy?

A dog may be man's best friend, but are they a garden's worst enemy? Many people assume that if you have a dog, the garden will suffer from digging, urine burns, or that the dog will get sick from eating things they shouldn't! Two recent articles in the New York Times offered suggestions on how to have a garden and a dog as well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Horses Helping the Disabled

Horseback riding can help everyone—from wounded vets to children with cerebral palsy—get back in the saddle when it comes to certain kinds of muscle control. Cerebral palsy patients treated with hippotherapy and recreational horseback riding therapy (which are fancy ways of saying, "spending time with and on horses") saw improvements in muscle control and motor function, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nami the Tegu

This is Nami. She is a 3 year old female Tegu. She is 40 in long and just now considered an adult. They can live to be 15-20 years and up to 5 feet long! She is an omnivore, eating chicken, rats and fruit like strawberries and apples. In the wild, Tegu's live in Argentina. They like hot days, cool night and high humidity.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some of the World's Most Bizarre Creatures!

1. Star-nosed Mole
Star-nosed moles are easily identified by the eleven pairs of pink fleshy appendages ringing their snout which are used as a touch organ with more than 25,000 minute sensory receptors, known as Eimer’s organs, with which this hamster-sized mole feels its way around.

2. Aye Aye
It is the world's largest nocturnal primate, and is characterized by its unusual method of finding food; it taps on trees to find grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts its elongated middle finger to pull the grubs out.

3. Silky Anteater
It is the smallest member of the anteaters, with total length ranging from 360 to 450 mm (14.1-17.7 in) and usually weighing less than 400 g (0.88 lbs). It has a dense and soft golden brown fur, short snout, partially prehensile tail and two very enlarged claws in each forepaw.

4. Hellbender
The hellbender is a giant salamander, native to North America, which inhabits large, swiftly flowing streams with rocky bottoms.

5. Cornish Sucker
A large headed fish that has two blue spots at the back of the head and 2 small tentacles near the eyes. On the underside is a sizeable sucker that helps it grip to rocks, seaweeds etc. The overall body colour is purplish with black markings. Otherwise known as Shore Clingfish.

6. Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe crabs are arthropods that live primarily in shallow ocean waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms. They will, however, occasionally come on shore, e.g. for mating.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Canine Assistant

This is Cooley! He and Melissa were doing some work after his surgery. He was a very helpful boy!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Odor Eliminating Candles

We now are carrying Pet odor exterminator candles!!!! These candles contain a special enzyme formulation that "exterminates" pet odors. We are carrying orange lemon splash, mulberry spice, and clothesline fresh at this time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Showing You Whom to Trust

According to some studies, you can learn a lot about your date, including whether they're likely to engage in abusive behavior, by watching how they treat their pets. A 2007 study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found that those who abused pets were more violent and more controlling. In fact, it seems that abuse of animals often overlaps with a tendency toward domestic violence and abuse of children. There's also evidence that violence toward animals might serve as a sign, in children and adults, that the person is more likely to be violent with humans as well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Frederick Pet Election

The time has come for all good people (and pets!) to come to the aid of Frederick County! That’s right! Maryland Charter has approved a special election for a President of Frederick County**. However, election rules state that all candidates must be loyal, trustworthy, & above all, there for us in good times & bad! Since no human can fit these requirements, we must look to our only source, our trusted dogs, cats, birds, etc. to lead us during our troubled times! (**just kidding!)

What is it?

A fun fundraising event benefitting The Frederick County Humane Society and The American Red Cross, Frederick County Chapter. You simply register your beloved pet for prez then start collecting votes from family, friends & concerned citizens who know your pet will make a difference leading Frederick County!

How Does it Work?

Register your pet. $15 registration fee enables you to use our world-wide fund-raising website to both inform the populace & to collect the needed votes. Each vote costs $1. We freely admit that in this election you can buy your way in. Vote as many timesas you like, or collect as many votes from Frederick County or anywhere else. All votes from allsources count, & because of the recent Supreme Court decision, corporations can give as much as they’d like. Start campaigning today!

For every 100 votes ($100) you will receive a $10-off voucher, good at one of our sponsoring vets.

Voting is on-going from June 1st until mid-October. Whoever has the most votes at that time wins. President receives lots of great benies & will be asked to serve in many ways.

Attend the Election Celebration party in October and meet the new Frederick Pet President!

Nominate Your Pet! (

Customize your fundraising website with your pet's name and photo. Send emails to all of your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers and obtain votes for your pet-candidate!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Welcome back Julie!

We are so happy to announce that Julie Fulghum has returned to work for us full time. She was originally here the summer of 2008 doing an internship as a part of her veterinary technology program that she completed in 2008 at Wilson College in Pennsylvania. Since completing her program she has worked in Shippensburg and Gettysburg and now we are fortunate to have her here in Frederick. Julie has 5 dogs, 2 cats and a rat. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her dogs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hood College Dog Study

If a dog's eyes appear to be riveted to you and your sandwich the next time you try to enjoy lunch, consider the clever, strategical intent of your rapt viewer. That's because new research has just demonstrated dogs quietly sneak food when we're not looking, waiting for the perfect opportunity to bite, steal and nosh.

Before every dog owner and lover reading this comments, "Duh! I knew that already," the finding is not to be taken lightly. The research, published in the latest issue of Applied Animal Behaviour Science, adds to the growing body of evidence that dogs possess theory of mind, the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others.

In other words, dogs can likely perceive what we see and know, allowing them to take advantage of us when opportunity arises.

Shannon Kundey of Maryland's Hood College and colleagues tested the phenomenon out in a more structured, scientific way on 20 dogs*. To do this, they gave the dogs the opportunity to take food from one of two containers.

"These containers were located within the proximity of a human gatekeeper who was either looking straight ahead or not looking at the time of choice," explained the scientists. "One container was silent when food was inserted or removed while the other was noisy."

The vast majority of the dogs approached the silent container that was being pseudo ignored by the person.

The researchers then adjusted the experiment to see how dogs would react if the food container was noisy yet was still ignored by the nearby "gatekeeper," or if the dogs weren't particularly quiet when grabbing the snack.

According to the scientists, the "dogs preferentially attempted to retrieve food silently only when silence was germane to obtaining food unobserved by the human gatekeeper. Interestingly, dogs sourced from a local animal shelter evidenced similar outcomes."

This latter finding "conflicts with other recent data suggesting that shelter dogs perform more poorly than pet dogs in tasks involving human social cues," writes Kundey and her team.

Aside from giving some props to shelter dogs, the study suggests that the food nabbing skills aren't necessarily learned through repeated experience. The sneakiness may have evolved in wolves, the ancestors to dogs, and could therefore have genetic components.

We humans may also have an inborn drive to take food away from our dinner mates when they aren't looking. Have you ever grabbed a French fry, piece of sushi, or some other small, yet tempting, item when a friend or relative has left the table?

Admittedly, I did that the other night. Sorry, Grace. The fried won-ton on your plate was good.

* Ranee's Basenji's, Kylie and Cricket, participated in this study.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Improving Life for Seniors

The relationship between elderly people, health and pet ownership still isn't well understood, but some studies have shown potential benefits to seniors who have a furry friend around the house. Salvatore Giaquinto, M.D., of the San Raffaele Pisana Rehabilitation Center in Rome, published a study last year that analyzed more than 4years of research. He found consistent evidence that pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, provides protection against cardiovascular problems in older adults. Other research has shown that owning a pet may help older adults better cope with stressful and traumatic events in their life. (Not all studies support this evidence.) In general, researchers say it's likely animal companionship could play a role in keeping seniors active and physically healthy and that pets may even be able to help relieve loneliness as well as symptoms of depression and dementia.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Emergency 'Pet'-sonnel

Furry first-responders can alert others so epilepsy patients get help faster after a seizure begins. Seizure-response dogs are specially trained pups who live and travel with a person with epilepsy the way a guide dog does with the blind. Experts, such as David Spencer, M.D., a neurologist and specialist in epilepsy at Oregon Health & Science University, and Michael Doherty, M.D., a neurologist at the Swedish Epilepsy Center in Seattle, say these pets improve their owners' quality of life. Both doctors say response dogs can be trained to get help when a seizure occurs, either by barking to alert family and neighbors, or in some cases by learning how to trigger an alarm that summons human emergency crews. Plus, just having the dogs around seems to make patients feel safer and lowers their stress levels, factors that can actually lower their risk of seizures, according to Dr. Doherty.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Boosters for Baby's Immune System

New parents often worry whether having a cat or dog around the house will make their baby more prone to allergies, but that shouldn't be a concern, according to Dennis Ownby, M.D., chief of the Allergy-Immunology Section of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Research clearly shows that household pets don't increase the risk of allergies, he says. In fact, there's some evidence that pets may actually offer infants allergy protection. It all ties back to what Ownby calls the "hygiene hypothesis"; that super-clean, disinfected modern living ironically makes humans more prone to allergies. Ownby says having a pet may help desensitize babies' immune systems, making allergic reactions of all types less likely. More research needs to be done, but Ownby says, "The take-home is that they certainly don't do any harm and that there may actually be some protection."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Four-Legged Social Planners

A 2005 Australian study found that pet owners appeared to be more active in their communities and were more likely to feel like their neighborhood was friendly and safe. And, as any guy who's ever gotten a date by taking a pup to the park will tell you, dogs can be smooth operators when it comes to helping their owners interact with strangers. A 2008 study in the journal Anthrozoös found that random people on the street were more likely to give money to men and women, help pick up dropped change and give out their phone numbers if the person making the request was accompanied by a pooch.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Helping the Autistic Relate to Others

Helping the Autistic Relate to Others
People with autism spectrum disorders often have trouble relating to other people, but studies show that animals, whether real or virtual, might be able to help. Dr. Temple Grandin, an animal scientist who herself has autism, has written about how the rhythmic balancing required when riding on horseback can help children with autism be more receptive to learning language. Grandin also says service dogs can help people with autism feel safer and better navigate social situations.

Other researchers have shown how caring for a "virtual" pet can teach autistic children empathy, and numerous studies have found evidence that bonding with a pet can help some people on the autism spectrum become more aware of social surroundings. There's one catch: These therapies only work in people who aren't scared of the animals. For instance, Grandin has pointed out that dog barks are painful and frightening to some autistic people if they're particularly sensitive to sound.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dogs as Workout Partners

Several studies have shown that dogs can play a role in motivating their owners to be more active, which could lead to improved physical fitness. The key seems to lie in what researchers call "non-exercise walking." You probably know this activity better as simply "going for a stroll." In general, it covers any walking that's not done for transportation or a planned workout.

According to studies like one that was published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity in 2006, dog owners do it more. In fact, the JAPA study found no other type of pet that was linked to increased non-exercise walking and a 2008 Australian study found evidence that getting a dog leads new owners to start walking more. That's good news for dog lovers. But remember, you only get the benefits if you actually go for the walkies.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ninja Hamster

Gabby is a NINJA HAMSTER!!- she likes to jump out and see you when she comes in for her injections:)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Novartis Donates Interceptor

Over the summer Novartis Animal Health commited to donating free Interceptor (heartworm and intestitnal parasite preventative) to the rescue of KAH's choice. We chose Maryland Bichon Frise Rescue (MBFR) for the outstanding and compassionate work they do for the local (and sometimes not so local!) Bichons they take in. The terms were this: for every 12 months of Interceptor sold to a client Novartis would donate one month of Interceptor to MBFR. The client also received a $6 mail-in rebate which they could chose to redeem or opt to donate an additional month of Interceptor to MBFR. Thanks to you- the clients of KAH- a total of 84 months of Interceptor are being donated to Maryland Bichon Frise Rescue!! Thanks to the clients and to Novartis for your help in raising needed supplies for a wonderful cause!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Since the BP oil disaster began, shelters in New Orleans have experienced pet relinquishments in numbers not seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Rescue organizations are trying to ease the overcrowding by arranging adoptions with shelters throughout the country. The complete story is available at

Monday, August 23, 2010


Most people handle pet food without properly washing their hands, pet bowls or storing properly. Click on the link below to learn more about and reduce the potential risk of salmonella infections link to handling dry pet food.